To care for and protect someone or something while they are growing
Young seedlings are tender and can easily be lost. They are vulnerable in multiple ways:
- Treading on them
- Ignoring them and leaving them to wither
- Providing no protection from slugs, snails & other nibblers
- Providing no protection from strong winds that can break them
- Being too keen & leaving young plants out on frosty night
- Over-watering: drowned, anemic plants
- Over feeding: Spindly weak plants that shoot up but then can’t hold their own weight
All the above are a right pain in the arse, those beautiful dreams of flourishing plants set back. Particularly a bit of a shocker that you can destroy by too much of something which, in lesser quantities, is beneficial.
New ideas, new habits, new skills, new friendships, new ways of thinking, new projects … they’re all tender and vulnerable too, whilst they develop roots and become stronger: They need protection from too much criticism too soon, from doubts, from over enthusiasm, from overwhelm, from over-reaching, from stalling, from starving.
Discovering how to nurture healthy seedlings that grow into healthy plants is likely to take some learning (i.e. mistakes). You may have to re-sow a few times!! Keep nurturing:
- You’re responsible for daily care, ongoing. It’s not a one off thing. Check how things are going often, and provide whatever is needed.
- There is a rate of growth that can be handled, and you’re best off working within that. A little oomph helps. Too much oomph destroys.
- The healthy growth of that seedling (or idea, project, habit…) is inherent, ready and waiting. You don’t have to create that bit. You just have to nourish that inherent potential, and protect it from external hazards, your own neglect – or your own over-enthusiasm.
That’s why nurture matters. Nurture enables the new. Success depends not on being brilliant immediately, but on having the patience and persistence to nurture.